Magpies won't punish Martins
Joe Kinnear has dismissed reports that the club are set to discipline striker Obafemi Martins.
By James Dall
Last Updated: 02/12/08 1:55pm
Newcastle United manager Joe Kinnear has dismissed reports that the club are set to discipline striker Obafemi Martins.
Nigeria international Martins reacted angrily after he was substituted at Middlesbrough last weekend.
The 24-year-old has since apologised for his actions but it was claimed he could still be fined by the St James' Park outfit.
Kinnear, though, has insisted he would never punish a player for showing disappointment at being replaced.
"I read over the weekend that we were ready to take disciplinary action against Oba, but this will definitely not be the case," he told the club's official website.
"I'd never fine a player who shows any disappointment at being called off, because I want every player to feel this way, and I can understand how Oba felt at being substituted.
"Oba is a very talented player for us, and a very individual striker. He is so focused on scoring goals that he sometimes misses the chance to set up a pass, but this is probably something all great strikers are guilty off.
"At the moment we have four top strikers in Oba, Michael Owen, Mark Viduka and Shola Ameobi, and when we start with two of them, this does not mean that we'll not involve the other two at some time in the game, and this is what happened at Middlesbrough.
"They will share the workload, and all I want them to do is to score us goals.
"I don't need to remind any of them that we're all in this together. We're all responsible for trying to get the best for Newcastle United but, having said this, I've never been afraid to make any difficult decisions if it is for the good of the team.
"That's what I did at Middlesbrough when I sent Mark Viduka on for Oba, and it nearly paid off. Viduka wasn't too far away from grabbing the winner for us late on in the game."